Original Publication Date: 22 February, 2014
Publication / Source: Breast Cancer Management
Authors: Yong-Hun Lee & William P Schiemann
TGF-β is a multifunctional cytokine that plays an essential role in regulating mammary gland development, morphogenesis, differentiation and involution. TGF-β also regulates mammary gland homeostasis and prevents its transformation by prohibiting dysregulated cell cycle progression and inducing apoptosis; it also creates cell microenvironments that readily inhibit cell migration, invasion and metastasis. Interestingly, while early-stage mammary tumors remain sensitive to the tumor-suppressing activities of TGF-β, late-stage breast cancers become insensitive to the anticancer functions of this cytokine and instead rely upon TGF-β to drive disease and metastatic progression.